BlackBerry is a line of mobile email and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) since 1999.
BlackBerry devices are smartphones, designed to function as personal digital assistants, portable media players, internet browsers, gaming devices, and much more. They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. BlackBerry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, including BlackBerry Messenger.
Modern GSM-based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7, 9 or ARM 11 processor, while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. The latest BlackBerry models (Torch 9850/9860, Torch 9810, and Bold 9900/9930) have a 1.2 GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon Processor, 768 MB system memory), and 8 GB of on-board storage. All BlackBerrys after OS 5 support up to 32 GB microSD cards.
BlackBerry accounts for 3% of mobile device sales worldwide in 2011, making its manufacturer RIM the sixth most popular device maker (25% of mobile device sales are smartphones). The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies. As of October 2011, there were seventy million subscribers worldwide to BlackBerry. At present the Caribbean and Latin America, have the highest penetrations of BlackBerry smartphones worldwide – with up to about 45 per cent in the region having a RIM device.
The operating system used by BlackBerry devices is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of input devices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino email. OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchange email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes. The Blackberry Curve 9360, Blackberry Torch 9810, Bold 9900/9930, and Torch 9850/9860 feature the most recent Blackberry OS 7 as of October 2011).
Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry App World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobile browser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.